4 Fun Recycling Projects for Kids

Kids love to create things. Whether it’s building a blanket fort in the living room or turning an old paper towel roll into a sword, their young minds are constantly using their imagination to make new things. Common household materials make great recyclable craft supplies for the kid who loves to craft. Today we’re bringing you four fun crafts for kids, utilizing recyclable items.

Seedling Container Animal Puppets

Do you or a friend love to garden? You’re probably familiar with those little plastic containers that your seedlings come in. These containers are perfect for little animal puppets that your child will love!


  • Seedling containers
  • Colored cardstock
  • Elmer’s glue (or something similar)
  • Googly eyeballs, ribbon, yarn, string, or whatever you have laying around the house.

Most seedling containers come in a pack of six or eight. If they’re attached, cut them apart so you can work with one section at a time. Turn the container upside down so that the opening is on a flat surface. To make a black cat, paste googly eyes on the front of the container. Cut ears, whiskers, a nose and tail from black and pink cardstock. Use glue to attach each piece, holding for five seconds to make sure it’s properly glued. Use a white permanent marker to draw a mouth or any other physical features.

Other fun animal ideas: dog, panda bear, black bear, or a spider.

Water Xylophone

At the end of the week, our recycling bins are filled with empty plastic water or soda bottles. Save these to create a fun, interactive rainbow xylophone with water and recycled bottles!


  • 6-8 empty plastic bottles
  • Water
  • Food coloring

The empty plastic bottles do not have to be the exact same size. Using bottles of varied size and shape can be a fun experiment to discover the many different tones you can create! Simply fill each water bottle with an amount of water. Vary how full each bottle is, so that you can produce different musical tones. Obviously have your plumbing problems solved before you start filling up bottles, go to www.curlcurlplumbing.com.au to see how they can help you.

Add 2-3 drops of food coloring into each bottle for a fun rainbow of colors! Once you’ve got your bottles lined up, tap the opening of the bottles with a pencil or similar utensil. Watch your child discover the different tones that each bottle creates! Encourage them to rearrange them in different orders, creating little songs.

Egg Carton Goggles

Your child will love expressing their personality in these custom-designed egg garten goggles! This project is ideal for kindergarten and preschool age children.


  • Cardboard egg cartons
  • String, yarn or ribbon
  • Scissors
  • Art supplies such as markers, crayons, stickers, or paints
  • Pen

To make the goggles, you’ll need to first cut two of the egg wells from the bottom section of the egg carton. Trim the goggles so they don’t have any excess pieces that could get in your child’s eyes. Using a pen, poke a hole through the bottom of each well. Cut out the entire bottom of the well so that they’re big enough to be the eye holes.

Now for the creative part! Decorate the mask with whatever supplies you have on hand. Feel free to use feathers, pipe cleaners, and any other fun supplies to add personality to your mask. Once you’re done decorating, use the pen to poke a small hole on each side. Cut two lengths of ribbon and attach them to the sides, through the holes. Use the string to tie the goggles onto your child’s head.

Marble Run

Every kid loves putting marbles into a shoot and watching them race to the finish line. With this craft, your child can design their very own marble run.


  • 4 empty paper towel rolls (or more if you want to make a longer shoot)
  • Pen
  • Scissors
  • Art supplies like markers, crayons or paints
  • Tape (packing or masking tape is ideal)
  • Ruler
  • Marbles

First, you’ll want to make sure your paper towel tubes can connect to one another. Use a ruler to measure and cut a small square at the end of three tubes. This will let the marbles pass through from one shoot to the other.

Have your child decorate the tubes however they like. Once finished decorating, help your child tape the tubes together. Make sure that the holes line up properly so that a marble can freely roll from one tube into another. These work best if you make sure the tubes are overlapping to make a 90 degree angle. It may take a few times of trial and error before getting the shoot to work best with the marbles rolling freely. It’s best to do a couple of test runs before securing the tubes with tape.

The best part about this craft is that you can make the marble shoot as long as you want, just by using recycled paper towel holders!

Recycled crafts are a great way to teach your child about the importance of eliminating waste and reusing materials while still having fun creating new projects!

About the author: Craig is a contributor and editor at Everything Backyard, a gardening and backyard website that covers everything from gardening tips to backyard projects. He loves to spend all the time he can outdoors and find every excuse to leave his house. If you can’t get a hold of him, he is probably on a trail or a boat.

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